The GeeksverseFebruary First Issue Review Blowout Part 1

February First Issue Review Blowout Part 1
Published on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 by

The downside of going away for 3 weeks for work? When you come home you have a stack of books two feet high (truth) and a ton of first issues to look through. That means it’s time for an expanded Quick Thoughts review session.

GIJOE_RelaunchG.I. Joe #1
Published by: IDW Publishing
Written by: Fred Van Lente
Penciled by: Steve Kurth

At least when IDW relaunches a new “season” of Joe, the storylines continue. Even with this new radical direction, the Joe’s being public, it’s all built off of what came before. Van Lente steps in for Dixon on the main book and with the new direction. I was pessimistic about it at first, but willing to give it a try. So far it’s not bad at all. Hashtag is very annoying but the rest of the team is a good mix. Already Van Lente drops some interesting “human” elements into it, Cover Girl and Duke are hooking up? Action-wise it hits home and it’s nice to see some of the old Joe toys make an appearance. I like Joe Colton. The Adventure Team shows that Van Lente knows his Joe history and hopefully that pops up again at some point.

Steve Kurth returns to G.I. Joe. He was the original artist when Devil Due’s took over the license. I really didn’t like his work then but his style has changed and the new work isn’t bad at all. Bit rough in places, stiff and awkward poses, but overall it’s solid.

4 out of 5

Fearless_Defenders_Vol_1_1Fearless Defenders #1
Published by: Marvel Comics
Written by: Cullen Bunn
Penciled by: Will Sliney

I like Valkyrie. I like Cullen Bunn’s work. I like the Defenders (except for Fractions, what was up with that title?). Would I like this book? Yes. Now I’m not a fan of the “forced” (i.e. purposely throwing together) female team books (and Marvel has another one coming too). There should be diversity in comics, but it should come through storylines not through forced pairings. So I was a little leery about this, especially with an all-female cast. I’ll have to withhold judgement on it overall because the way Misty and Val meet works very well.

Bunn’s story is smooth. There’s great personality in both women as well as Annabelle (and that one scene was a surprise, but worked well). Solid story, solid plot. I’m still leery about how the all-female team will work out, but I’ll be along for the ride to see it.

Sliney is a solid artist. Good work all around. The dead vikings were detailed and varied. Great job on Misty’s cybernetic hand. Val looked a little undersized (height) but overall was handled well.

5 out of 5

katana_1_02Katana #1
Published by: DC Comics
Written by: Ann Nocenti
Penciled by: Alex Sanchez

An odd choice to headline her own series since she’s just been part of the Birds of Prey prior to this. Katana, even pre-52, was never really a candidate for her own book, so it’s a bit of a risk for DC to do one now. Nocenti’s script is pretty strong. There’s a couple of jumps in the pacing, but overall it’s solid. She obviously has done her homework and quickly is making a mark with Katana. This one issue gave her more personality then the entire run of Birds of Prey she was in. Loved the part about how each accessory and piece of clothing was lethal. That was good stuff.

It’s too bad the rest of it wasn’t. Strong script but the art by Sanchez made the book suffer. Too hard to follow the action in parts, too muddled in others. A stronger artist could have really helped this book.

It wasn’t a bad book, but the art didn’t help it any, and a lack of a hook to really draw interest in the character didn’t help. This probably should have waited a couple of months for Justice League of America to shine more light on Katana.

3 out of 5

uncanny-x-men-1-marvel-nowUncanny X-Men #1
Published by: Marvel Comics
Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciled by: Chris Bachalo

I’m on the fence about this one. I want to like it. I like the X-Men. But there was just something about this that I didn’t like. I really can’t place my finger on it. The art was good, very jumpy and hard to follow in some places (which is unlike Bachalo), but still good. The script was decent. Not one of Bendis’ best, but not one of his worst.

I just don’t know what I didn’t like about this.

Maria Hill isn’t director of SHIELD, Daisy Johnson is. I wish Marvel would figure it out because it’s confusing me. The two characters look alike too, so that makes it even harder.

Are the sentinels human height now? That was hard to tell.

The issue just didn’t feel right for a first issue. The narrative device didn’t work. The shock at the end wasn’t that surprising. Just felt odd. No personality to the characaters. Actions that were hard to follow.

2.5 out of 5

3947680-red-team-1Red Team #1
Published by: Dynamite Entertainment
Written by: Garth Ennis
Penciled by: Craig Cermak

What happens when good cops go bad? Except they’re not going bad, they’re just going to lengths that you wonder doesn’t happen more often with cops. With all the bad guys they can’t arrest because of lack of evidence, technicalities, etc.. You have to wonder why more don’t just take matters into their own hands. They aren’t being bad, they’re being vigilantes. Red Team is about a group of cops who do just that. And the worst possible thing happens…

Have to love how Ennis describes that. It highlights the strength of this story. That one little line. Probably one of Ennis’ best stories he’s done. Top notch script, top notch plotting and pacing. The narrative, which Bendis tried to use on the first issue of Uncanny X-Men and failed, is executed perfectly here.

The art by (newcomer?) Cermak fits perfectly.

This is a great book. I can’t wait to see where Ennis takes it.

5 out of 5

Look for part 2 and part 3 of the Big February First Issues Review Session. And if I don’t get to them by next week, who knows, there may be more books added.

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